Friday, April 2, 2010

What Divorce Law is Doing to Marriage Part 11

The next couple of pages are depressing where the children will start losing interest in you. Also, their mother will purposefully interfere with your visitation rights.

Back to the words of Jed Abraham

You will call your lawyer. You want him to go to court and get your visitation back.

Your lawyer would advise you against this.

In court, your wife may claim you came late, appeared agitated, and she was afraid you’d harm the kids. It’ll be your word against hers that she interfered with your visitation. Unless you want your children to testify.

There are two ways you can have your children testify. They can be sworn in as witnesses in open court, or the judge can talk to them informally in his chambers in the presence of both lawyers. Either way, it’ll be a traumatic experience for them. In advance of the hearing, they’ll be subtly prepped by your wife, they’ll be brought to the courthouse by her, and she’ll have the last word in their ears. They’ll know that whatever they say to the judge will hurt either you or your wife. They will also know which of you can hurt them back more if they say the wrong thing.

If you choose not to have your children testify, you’ll have to give the court other evidence. What other evidence can you muster?

You will protest that it’s obvious what’s happening here. You’re not getting your court-approved visitation. When you come for the kids, your wife is supposed to have them ready for you, but she doesn’t. When more evidence does there have to be? Why won’t the judge just enforce his own order?

Your lawyer will agree that, as a matter of law, you are absolutely right. But in these kinds of cases, what goes on behind the law also matters. Your wife has not simply deprived you of your children. She has allowed them to do the kinds of things that courts think are very important to children, like playing with their peers, or participating in organized activities, or watching videos under the vigilant eye of their mother. The court doesn’t want your visitation to interfere with the children’s normal, wholesome activities. So even if the court suspects that your wife may have overreacted-or even overreached-it won’t necessarily think that your children have been harmed so as to justify sanctioning her.

You will feel your anger rising. What about you? Don’t you count at all? You’re their father! Isn’t it important for them to be with you, too?

Your lawyer will remind you that the only thing the court will consider is the “best interest of the child.” So, in fact, you and your needs and your feelings don’t mean much. The children’s time with you is important, but only in relation to the other important demands they have on their time.

More to come on the next summary.